Harassed on Metro: “I’ve Been So Worried About Running Into Him Again That I Changed My Route”

Location: L’Enfant Plaza Metro – Southbound yellow line
Time:
 Night (7:30pm-12am)

A man, late 20s-late 30s, dark hair, gray or black shirt and pants, approached me on the train platform Aug. 27. He asked me if I was a teacher because of the badge I was wearing. (I’m not.) He told me he worked in “sales” and was looking for a new job, and did I know of any? He [said he was] born in London and educated in Australia. He had a slight accent, but it was neither English nor Australian. He repeated the Australia/England connection several times. He badgered me with increasingly personal questions – name, occupation, was I single? Where was I going? Where did I work? What kind of work did I do? How could he contact me? Where was I going? Why wouldn’t I give him my contact info? Was I getting on the yellow line? Where was I headed?

He grew more aggressive in his tone the more I told him I was uncomfortable and to please stop talking to me. I was so rattle and fearful, I waited until he had boarded the train before I got into a different car. Even with that, I didn’t feel safe and called to have someone meet me on the platform at my destination. I’ve been so worried about running into him again I’ve switched up the train I take, stand in different spots on the platform, and keep an eye out for him. I reported to Metro Transit Police through the online form.

Submitted 8/29/14 by “VM.”

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).

“They Were Pulling Her Hair And Touching Her As She Asked Them Not To”

Location: L’Enfant Metro Station, waiting for the orange line
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

Today I was assaulted at L’Enfant metro station while waiting for an orange train for the second time this year. The platform there is dark and cramped and overrun with the large number of construction projects down there and now also the addition of the silver line. Even without all of that it is always crowded and dark and dangerous and not frequently patrolled by the metro police.

The first time [I was assaulted this year was when] I was politely waiting for others to get off of a train before I stepped on. The person behind me didn’t want to wait, so she picked me up and used me as a human shield while screaming at me for not pushing my way on instead of waiting.

Today, I was spit on while attempting to help someone being assaulted by a group of young men. They were pulling her hair and touching her as she asked them not to. By the time I figured out what was going on they had moved to the platform above us and decided they were going to spit on us from above. Someone up there tried to intervene, and as she came down to the orange platform on the escalator, they hurled a glass bottle at her.

I encouraged the first young woman to file a report, so we went up to find a station manager. The woman who had had the bottle thrown at her came too. The station manager argued with us and said we didn’t really want to file a report, but I really did and can be very “persuasive” in times like this. By the time he picked up the phone, they had gotten on a train and gotten away. Then we asked him if we should wait or give him our names or contact information, and he said no and that we could leave.

As the three of us rode off on a train in disbelief, we decided to go back and get his name so we could file a report against him for being so difficult in a time of actual need. When we got back to L’Enfant, some police officers had arrived and were waiting to talk to us and file a real report. I was very thankful that they were understanding and did their best to try to find these guys who had attacked us. I don’t know that they will find them but I have learned a lot in this process and will keep the metro police number in my phone from now on so I can call myself if it happens again.

Submitted 7/30/14 by “EA.”

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Share your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).

“The Last Thing I Need On My Lunch Break? Sexual Harassment From A Public Masturbator.”

street harassment in dc collective action for safe spaces
“The Last Thing I Need On My Lunch Break? Sexual Harassment from A Public Masturbator.”

Location: 7th and Constitution NW (Archives/ L’Enfant Plaza)
Time:
 Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

I work by L’Enfant Plaza and like to enjoy my lunch break walking along the mall and resting on one of their benches. When I reached a place to sit today, there was no one on the benches around me. After about 10 minutes, a man stood in front of me talking and I couldn’t understand anything; until he told me to spread my legs. Then I noticed he was rubbing himself. I told him no, stood up, and started walking fast toward a group on people walking by. He stopped talking as I walked away, and I saw him sitting on the bench where I was at before.

Submitted 7/14/14 by Anonymous.

Take a stand against public sexual harassment and assault: Donate now.


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. You can program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).

Street Harassed By the National Mall: “He Called Me a B*tch & Walked Off”

street harassment in dcLocation: 7th & Independence SW (L’Enfant Plaza)
Time: 
Night (7:30pm-12am)

I was attending an evening event on the Mall, standing outside by myself and waiting for my friend. Imagine my surprise when a man walking past me started making comments about my ass, even though there were food trucks and plenty of gallery-goers milling around.

I yelled back that I didn’t appreciate him talking to me like that, which only seemed to encourage his ongoing commentary on my butt. Finally I yelled at him to SHUT UP (there was some pearl-clutching by bystanders at this point). The man called me a bitch and walked off.

Yelling shut up may not have been the most constructive way to engage with a street harasser. It feels wrong to silence somebody. And he honestly thought he was complimenting me and that I should be flattered. I’m trying to think of better ways to handle this if it happens again (statistically likely) but I’m not really sure how.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 8/22/13 by “C.”


Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279). 

“I Should Watch MY Language? More Like You Should Stop Harassing Women!

Location: 12th and Maine Ave SW
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

Street harassment has happened to me before, but I have been lucky to experience it rather infrequently. I’m not sure if it’s due to my naturally assertive walk or that I’m somewhat oblivious to guys yelling out of cars, or some other factors I don’t know of. Regardless, no one deserves harassment and no one can completely prevent it unless they never go outside.

I was heading back to the office after grabbing some take-out lunch at the fish market in SW. As I was leaving the turnaround to get to the sidewalk, a man in a car pulls in to the fish market parking lot behind me with his window rolled down. He proceeds to say, “Hey sexy, turn around for me mamasita.” I admit I didn’t have the best reaction, but it definitely felt good to have a go to response besides telling someone to f* off. I yelled, “Don’t harass women, asshole!” to which he responded, “You should watch your language.” He should watch his.

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 7/30/13 by “z.”

collective action for safe spaces standing up to street harassment
“I Should Watch MY Language? More Like You Should Stop Harassing Women!”

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).

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